Innovation in science, technology and industry

Conference on new building blocks for jobs and economic growth (Washington, DC, 16-17 May 2011)


New Building Blocks for Jobs and Economic Growth
16-17 May 2011

Lohrfink Auditorium, Rafik B. Hariri Building,
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Download the conference report (pdf)

Watch a video of the opening panel discussion


Intangible assets – information, workforce skills and know-how, effective management and marketing, business models, relations with suppliers and customers, software and databases as well as traditional intellectual property (patents, copyrights and trademarks) – are building blocks of future economic growth. According to the available evidence, business investment in intangible assets is increasing in most advanced economies and, in a number of countries, intangible investment matches or exceeds investment in tangible assets such as buildings, equipment and machinery. Investment in intangibles also accounts for a significant fraction of labour productivity growth in countries such as Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. And evidence is accumulating that investments in intangibles are growing in importance in emerging economies.


Goal of the conference

This conference drew together a group of global business leaders, policymakers, and researchers to better understand how we can harness investments in innovation, intangible assets, and intellectual capital to generate sustainable growth, high-wage employment, and improved living standards.


Opening remarks, key-note speaker and plenary panel

Opening remarks were made by Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The key-note speech was given by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The members of the plenary panel were:

  • Moderator: Jon Spector, CEO, The Conference Board (confirmed)
  • Manuel Trajtenberg, Professor and former head of the Israeli National Economic Council (confirmed)
  • Otaviano Canuto, Vice President Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, World Bank  (confirmed)
  • Carl Shapiro, White House Council of Economic Advisors (invited)
  • Lisa Lynch, Dean, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University (confirmed)
  • Edward Jung, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Intellectual Ventures (invited)
  • David Stafford, COO of Michelin Americas Research Company (confirmed)
  • Allen Howell, CEO of Corporate Flight Management


Open to the press and public

The opening session, the key-note speech and the plenary panel discussion were open to the press and the public.


Hosted by

Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy


Organised by

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Athena Alliance, the Conference Board, the Kauffman Foundation, the National Academies-STEP Board


Further information

Any additional enquiries to be directed to Mr. Kenan Jarboe, the Athena Alliance: